• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping blacks gain more civil rights in the 1960's?

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping blacks gain more civil rights in the 1960's? Explain your answer. In the 1950's an organised civil rights movement was born. It aimed to win voting rights for all black people and to put segregation to an end in all aspects of life. Martin Luther King (MLK) was a major leader and inspiration to many blacks within this and was seen as the most important factor by many in helping blacks gain more civil rights, however some believe other events and leaders were more important. Although blacks had been fighting for civil rights for many years, the civil rights movement really got started and became more apparent in 1955 when a respectable black woman called Rosa Parks who had been the secretary to the president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), was arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus, which was the expected thing for blacks to do whenever a bus was full. ...read more.


By the 1960's the majority of households owned a TV or radio and they were the main form of entertainment at night times for families. This allowed all people to see his thoughts on segregation and discrimination and they could see how blacks should be treated equally and therefore gained more support for the movement. MLK could show how he was a well educated, smart and respectable man to stop people believing the stereotypical view of blacks which was that they were not educated, rough and not to be trusted. However there were many other factors which helped for blacks to gain more civil rights in America in the 1960's. One of these is because of the presidents at the time of the civil rights movement, President John F. Kennedy, who was keen for a new civil rights act. The Civil Rights bill was brought before Congress in 1963 and in a speech on television, Kennedy pointed out that blacks had half as much chance of completing high school and college than whites, twice as much chance of becoming unemployed, more chance of earning less and living 7 years shorter. ...read more.


Groups like the NAACP were very important as they brought together many people who fought as a team for what they believed in, which had far more effect than a single person's effort. I think that overall the civil rights movement was a huge success for blacks gaining more civil rights, as segregation was banned in all aspects of American life and blacks were given the right to vote which meant they could have an impact on who ran the country they lived in. Even though there were many other leaders and groups which with no doubt added to the success of gaining more civil rights, MLK was backing up these people, for example he worked closely with John F. Kennedy in trying to get the civil rights act passed, and was the main organiser of the March on Washington to promote this. MLK was an inspirational man to all black Americans, and brought together and encouraged more people to join the movements, which meant a stronger protest. If he had not encouraged non-violence and blacks had physically fought back to whites the movement may not have been successful as they would not have gained respect from onlookers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping ...

    4 star(s)

    It captured the imagination of everyone who heard it, and brought about a new mood for change. Together with his letter from an Alabama jail, the "I Have a Dream" speech got through to normal black people, and persuaded them to join the cause.

  2. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Both help to make us who we are and these forces have helped develop Martin Luther King. I believe that entrepreneurs, world leaders, scientists, good managers, successful athletes and successful people in general are nurtured, contradicting the phrases "natural born winners" and "born to win".

  1. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King: Compared and Contrasted.

    Soon after on the 25 May 1963 Malcolm X is reported to criticise Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, and Floyd Patterson as "unwitting tools of white liberals" (Source 1). However, along with the fame and accolades came conflict within the movement's leadership.

  2. How successful was the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

    successful 1962 - The Albany movement a association between Martin Luther King and leaders from SNCC, CORE and the NAACP, is launched with massive sit- ins and marching campaigns.- Successful 1963 - Over 250,000 participate in the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, the largest protest assembly in U.S.

  1. Why was Martin Luther King both so bitterly criticised, and so deeply mourned by ...

    was students and not the SCLC who sparked off the wave of confrontational protests. King was only involved in a handful of the thousands of protest across the south. An example of a poorly orgainsed event which ended in failure was the Albany Campaign.

  2. Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping ...

    Many protesters demonstrated against the nine children being admitted to the school. President Eisenhower, after warning the people of Little Rock, sent federal troops to ensure that the pupils were allowed to enter the school. President Kennedy was, like Truman and Eisenhower, unable to pass a Civil Rights Bill, Kennedy's bill was rejected by Congress.

  1. What was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement?

    For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.'

  2. The importance of Lyndon Johnson in bringing about Civil Rights.

    To gain further perspective on Lyndon Baines Johnson?s importance in bringing about civil rights, I will compare him to other leading figures and organisations. Martin Luther King Martin Luther King is perhaps the most well-known figure in the struggle for civil rights.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work